The Secret Language of Comics

Tracing Pages – Reflection Post

My essay’s thesis: Both David Small and Alison Bechdel reveal the homosexual nature of their mother and father respectively in a sudden manner and do so through different artistic and literary means, but utilizing these two aspects of their pages, and pairing it with the medium of comics allows for both authors to convey their greater message; therefore, by analyzing the common patterns in both pages, it can be surmised that Small and Bechdel do all of this to share with readers the shock that both authors experienced with the reveal of their parents’ secret homosexuality.

Before writing my essay, the actual tracing of the pages was an important step. I used to trace images from the internet quite often as a kid and this truly brought me back. Tracing the pages allowed me to notice details about the different panels, but more importantly, gave me time to ruminate on the hidden messages on each page. Ideas such as the commonality in the shock of each authors’ reveal and why each author felt the need to do so came to me while I traced each page.

Writing in the ABT format was new and quite frankly tough. It forced me to carefully choose my pages and the subsequent characteristics of each page. I felt my essay made a leap (which is why I repeatedly include words such as “surmise,” “can,” and “likely,”) as the larger message that I claim the authors are making are purely my interpretations of the evidence provided on each page.

But I feel that I am not in the wrong for making an ideological leap. The focus of this essay was focusing on the “secret language” that Bechdel and Small are attempting to communicate in. Only the authors know the answers to why they made the climactic reveal so shocking, but it is the job of analytical readers to make realistic claims that are heavily implied by what we see on the page.

Assignment link


  • Notebook
  • Physics Lab Notebook
  • Folder
  • Pencil Bag
  • Eraser
  • Chapstick
  • Lucky Pennny
  • Backpack

This Sunday Sketch was quite unique. Taking out and laying all my items on a table made me realize one thing, that I only had what I needed. I didn’t have miscellaneous planners, notebooks, stray pencils/pens; not even a half-crumpled paper I forgot to put in my folder. It reflected my personality to a tee in that it demonstrated my minimalism. My low-maintenance personality juxtaposed to my efficiency is perfectly encapsulated in this picture.

Making this Sunday sketch was very easy and enjoyable. Finding a large place to lay out all the items in my backpack was quite easy and everything seemed to fit in its own place.

“Don’t worry, be happy” – Anirudh Seshadri

The triptych above is a simple sequence of events. A man is sad, someone lifts up the ends of his mouth into a smile, and he stays there smiling.

When thinking of ideas, I thought about my week and how draining it was. Naturally, I thought that this was what the rest of my semester would look like, and because of this, on a Friday night, I was feeling sad with a bleak outlook on the next few months.

The next morning, I decided to just not be sad. I smiled in the mirror for ten seconds and went about my Saturday morning. Making that small decision to just begin smiling made my day so much better and was the inspiration for the triptych.

I think the minimalist style conveys a strong message to the reader. There aren’t any hidden clues or flamboyant imagery that symbolize something, it’s just telling you “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Cooling down at the beach

Initially, I wanted to use a beach and substitute the sand for the yellowish frosting you find on cakes. While searching for pictures of beaches, I came across a picture of a blowhole and thought it would look cool if instead of the water being shot up into the air because of it hitting against rocks, it was shot out of a massive aerosol can.

With that idea, I got these two pictures and layered them on top of each other giving the impression of a large spray can spouting water into the air.

The hardest part of this project was the meticulous cropping of the spray can. Clearly, I didn’t do a great job, however, with the resources and time I had allocated for it, I feel I did a fine enough job.

Sketch 3: Visual Note Taking – Anirudh Seshadri

The sketch above is of a small portion of my Biol 142 class notes. We covered the topics of Mendelian genetics and Meiosis/Mitosis.

I began by first writing all my notes in words and began doodling around them. For the more complex topics, I deleted the texts and substituted them with diagrams as seen on the bottom.

Drawing out my notes was extremely helpful as visuals have always helped me understand complex concepts. Drawing processes helps me visualize the different proteins, molecules, and organelles and how they interact with each other. Doing this Sunday Sketch only further reinforced the benefits that visualizing my notes does for me.

Blog Post Assignment

Literary Narrative Part 1 Reflection

My essay discusses the significance of one day during the summer of 2008 when I found myself struggling to progress through a new comic series. The lessons I learned from that seemingly insignificant memory would be crucial in my later development as a writer.

While writing this essay, I was able to put into words what I had known since my junior year of high school. It was refreshing looking back at those memories and reminds me that I can still use the lessons that I learned all those years ago here at university and beyond.

The freewriting aspect of this assignment was something I thoroughly enjoyed. The absence of structure and very minimal guidelines allowed for me to tell my experience the way I wanted to tell it. This level of freedom, I believe, helps me produce some of my best writing.

Chest In The Woods – Anirudh Seshadri

While looking for items to incorporate into a drawing, I searched for significant objects like water bottles, pencils, and playing cards; things that held value to me and would have caught my eye. Instead, however, I decided to go with something inconspicuous, something that I rarely noticed sitting on the right corner of my desk. This item was a lanyard hook, which just so happened to look like a key port. With this minimal inspiration, I drew a typical chest with a circle in the center to hold the key port. I began sketching around it, putting whatever came into my head onto the paper, and soon enough I had a basic “forest” theme for my drawing. I ran with it by drawing trees, creeping vines, shrubs, and so forth. By end of it, I had incorporated an insignificant lanyard hook into an elaborate “forest” themed drawing.


Hi! My name is Anirudh Seshadri. I am a Freshman at Emory University in Georgia Atlanta. The image above is a mashup drawing I made of me and my favorite anime character Levi Ackerman. I was drawn to him due to his stoic attitude and ability to handle pressure well. I try to emulate these characteristics as much as possible and thought it would only be appropriate to combine the two of us for my website avatar.

The toughest part about drawing my avatar was the self-reflection. There have been very few times in my life that I have had to describe myself or look at myself and draw something. It was tough to point out distinguishing features about myself and add them onto the drawing because I never notice anything remarkable (Staring at one’s face everyday for over 18 years does make it a difficult task).